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Here are several changes, including home delivery, made to Gainesville’s alcohol ordinance
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An amendment to Gainesville's alcohol ordinance could make alcohol sales on outdoor patio dining easier for restaurants outside of the downtown dining district. - photo by Scott Rogers

Gainesville amended its alcohol ordinance Tuesday, Feb. 2, to reflect changes in state law and help restaurants adjust in a COVID-19 business climate.

Here are some of the outcomes of Gainesville City Council’s vote:

  • Outside drinking can be permitted in approved outdoor patios under the condition that all outdoor activities are contained within the patio.

  • Outdoor patio seating permitted in the front entrances of restaurants.

  • Patrons would be permitted samples of alcoholic beverages on the premises of an establishment, as long as it is sold by the establishment.

  • Home delivery of alcoholic beverages are permitted in city limits, as long as they are in accordance with state law.

  • An additional license would not be required for licensed alcohol retailers to deliver alcoholic beverages.

  • Package stores permitted to sell growlers will be allowed to have patios and provide samples in-store.

Angela Sheppard, assistant city manager, has said that the city’s alcohol ordinance acts as a “working document” that aims to be consistent with both state law and the needs of local restaurants and businesses.”

On Aug. 2, Gov. Brian Kemp signed HB879, which allows home delivery of beer and wine by convenience stores, grocery stores and restaurants, into law.

Sheppard said that the primary change for restaurants will be a greater flexibility regarding the location and access for outdoor dining.

The city last made changes to its city alcohol ordinance in 2018, when the council approved area distilleries and growler shops to sell larger sample sizes of beer.